Fiat Chrysler has issued recall over hacking problems after reports that two technology researchers had succeeded in hacking wirelessly into a Jeep Cherokee, through its dashboard connectivity system.
The researchers succeeded in gaining control of not just features like the radio and air-conditioning, but the actual functions of the car: the engine, the brakes and the steering.
That revelation set in motion a nine-day flurry of activity by the automaker and the safety agency that culminated Friday in a sweeping recall of 1.4 million vehicles.
"Launching a recall is the right step to protect Fiat Chrysler's customers, and it sets an important precedent for how N.H.T.S.A. and the industry will respond to cybersecurity vulnerabilities," said Mark R. Rosekind, the NHTSA agency's administrator.
The researchers named Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have found a way to hack into a Jeep Cherokee's Uconnect system to control critical components, including the engine and brakes.
These days the cars on the nation's highways are increasingly web-connected and Chrysler's car has become the first to face a safety recall in connection with a hacking threat. And it forced the NHTSA to take immediate action.
The researchers hacked wirelessly into a Jeep Cherokee, through its dashboard connectivity system, controlling the engine, the brakes and the steering.
The NHTSA issued the initial call on July 15, leading to a long set of discussions between the automaker and regulators that extended through the weekend, according to a person briefed on the activities.
Miller and Valasek are planning to make their findings public early this week. The vulnerability existed far beyond just the Jeep, they said. Other vehicles across Chrysler's lineup of cars and trucks used the same system, called Uconnect. It is feared that this flaw could affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles.